You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: Ã¢â‚¬Å“These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain, their teachings are but rules taught by men.Ã¢â‚¬Â(NIV) Matthew 15:7-9
The Greek word that is translated hypocrite is "hupokrites," which means "an actor under an assumed character". In Greek dramas, an actor held an oversized mask over his face. These masks were painted to represent the character the actors were portraying. The same word used for these actors is the word which is translated hypocrite in our Bibles.
Jesus tells us that a hypocrite purposely does things to impress his observers (Matthew 6:1-16). . . a hypocrite ignores the central heart issues of love for God and love for others and replaces it with adherence to regulations and rules (Matthew 15:1- 21). . . and a hypocrite uses spiritual talk to hide his selfish motives (Matthew 22:13-33). And Jesus gives hypocrites of all ages a strong warning of the consequences of their play acting (Matthew 23:13, 15, 16, 23, 25, 27, 29).
How are you play acting in your Christianity? When have you done something or said something to impress your observers? How do you ignore God command to love Him first? and to love others as yourself? How do you honor God with your lips, but your heart is not there? When has your worship been a performance rather than from the heart? What man- made regulations are you teaching to others rather than Gods Word? How do you hide your true motives with spiritual talk? When do you say one thing and turn around to do the exact opposite? When do you "mask" your real self and play out a part for your audience?
From time to time we are all hypocrites, play actors of our faith. . . but why not vow to make those times fewer and further between! Let`s take off our masks. . . stop acting for our audiences. . . and live transparent holy lives that honor God!